Georgia Southern’s 2017 football schedule is now available, and I don’t know if they could have drawn a rougher road in a rebuilding season.
Georgia Southern 2017 Schedule
|Sept. 2||at Auburn|
|Sept. 9||vs. New Hampshire|
|Sept. 23||at Indiana|
|Oct. 4||vs. Arkansas State|
|Oct. 14||vs. New Mexico State|
|Oct. 21||at University of Massachusetts|
|Oct. 28||at Troy|
|Nov. 4||vs. Georgia State|
|Nov. 9||at Appalachian State|
|Nov. 18||vs. South Alabama|
|Nov. 25||at UL-Lafayette|
|Dec. 2||at Coastal Carolina|
A few notes right off the bat:
- If this had been the Kevin Ellison/Matt Breida show we had become accustomed to over the past three years, I would have booked us for solid performances at Auburn and at Indiana. Obviously not wins, but at least good enough for one of those 1:30 p.m. Sportscenter cut-ins where the anchors say “DON’T SCHEDULE GEORGIA SOUTHERN!!!” like last year against Ole Miss. But with the quarterback situation up in the air, we don’t even know who is favored to start in the Spring Game on April 1, I’m throwing that out immediately.
- New Hampshire and Coastal Carolina are two teams that scare the hell out of me looking at this. NH finished last season ranked 17th (8-5) in the FCS, while Coastal slotted right behind them at 18th (10-2). Both of these teams can ball, and Southern barely looked one notch above a middling FCS program last season. Like I stated above, if this had been a Ellison/Breida production, I’d feel a lot more comfortable about it all.
- I really don’t like the trifecta of Troy/Georgia State/App. State in three consecutive weeks. While the Eagles escaped with a win over the favored Trojans in 2016, nothing should be taken as a given this season. And since GS hasn’t beaten the Mountaineers in Boone since 2007, I am tentatively penciling them in for a loss until I see this team in action. Georgia State is a toss-up, since Southern has simply decided it can’t beat the Panthers any longer.
Louisiana-Lafayette ULLLouisiana looked pretty dominant against the Eagles on a Thursday night last year, and this time gets Southern in Louisiana for the game. Not great news.
This season is a tough one to predict. We have no idea what the offense will look like, or who the quarterback will be. Both the defensive line and defensive backfield were putrid for GS last year, so both units will need to improve in order to give Southern’s offense a chance to grow instead of constantly finding itself behind on the scoreboard. Until Tyson Summers’ team shows the ability to come up big on both sides of the ball, I’m afraid this might be another year of growing pains for the Eagles and their second-year head coach.